Adapting to the changing climate across society and the economy is necessary to deal with the unavoidable impacts of climate change already in train. There will be opportunities to take advantage from some more positive aspects of climate change in some sectors, for example, agriculture. If Government, the wider public sector and private organisations and individuals prepare for the future climate changes now, necessary adaptation can be identified early, planned for and undertaken in the most cost-effective way.
This briefing by the National Audit Office (NAO) is in response to a request from the Environmental Audit Committee to provide an overview of government policy on adapting to climate change, including the implications of the Climate Change Act 2008 and the cross-government Adapting to Climate Change Programme, and progress across government Departments in identifying and managing risks from future climate change impacts. It presents Departments’ self-assessments of their current capacity to assess and manage these risks, using a framework for effective climate change risk management developed by the NAO for the purposes of this briefing.